Riot Games is reportedly looking for ways to hold this year’s League of Legends World Championship in a bubble format that will take place in a single city, similar to the NBA and NHL.
The bubble system is designed to limit contact from outsiders and help prevent the spread of the coronavirus while 24 teams around the world gather and play for the World Championship. Weeks prior to the beginning of the tournament, players will be tested and quarantined in the hotel. Then they would compete from a centralized location throughout the event.
League of Legends in China
The event this year is planned to take place in Shanghai, China. Riot’s initial plan was to hold the tournament in six cities as the company celebrated its 10th anniversary of the World Championship. However, it had to be canceled, and plans had to be altered due to the pandemic.
If the bubble system does not work and the tournament is canceled for this year, China is expected to hold the World Championship next year on the initial plan that Riot had for 2020. The 2021 World Championship was scheduled to take place in North America, but the hosting duties will be pushed back a year, with North America l hosting the 2022 tournament.
Earlier today, China announced that the government has canceled all international sporting events for 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, the rules do not seem to apply for the League of Legends tournament.
China has over 100 League of Legends teams, and only three get to go to the World Championship. The competitiveness is fierce, and the popularity of the game has increased after Chinese teams have won the world title for two consecutive years, with Invictus Gaming in 2018 and FunPlus Phoenix in 2019.
League of Legends World Championship
The World Championship is set to take place in Shanghai, China, but the dates are not provided as the coronavirus situation is aggravating worldwide. The event that was scheduled to occur this fall was supposedly the biggest-ever tournament by combining the scale of the game’s popularity in China with the 10th anniversary of the World Championship.
The last time China hosted the World Championship was in 2017. The Beijing National stadium brought in 45,000 fans with scalpers selling tickets for more than $1,000 right outside the stadium. Riot Games was planning on breaking the record in the Shanghai stadium, which holds 56,000 seats.
Earlier this year, League of Legends was affected by the coronavirus as it had to cancel the annual Mid-Season Invitational. Riot announced that the Mid-Season Streamathon would replace MSI.
The Mid-Season Streamathon was hosted to raise funds for the coronavirus relief. It streamed over 48 hours of programming that consisted of exhibition games between League of Legends teams from all around the world.
The fans made donations during matches and donations were given by the Riot Games Social Impact Fund to organizations like the GlobalGiving Coronavirus Relief Fund. The online event was a success overall, raising over $600,000.